You probably know Luke Wilson as the younger, less charming brother of Owen.
But back in the early 2000s, Luke proved that he had both comedic and dramatic acting chops and has starred in two of the best Wes Anderson movies ever made.
But seriously, what ever happened to that guy?
Along with Wes Anderson, the brothers Wilson made their first film “Bottle Rocket” in 1996, and despite the fact that it is among the top three Wes Anderson movies ever, most people have never seen it. This is a shame.
The next year, Luke went on to appear in “Scream 2” and then landed his first leading role opposite Drew Barrymore (who he also dated for a while — but seriously, who didn’t she date back in the day?) in 1998’s “Home Fries.” They also costarred together in “Charlie’s Angels,” which is definitely one of those movies you watch on USA whenever it is on.
Luke appeared in Anderson’s next movie “Rushmore” that same year — which is also in the top three Anderson movies and if you disagree you are wrong — and then got his (relatively) big break in 2001’s “Legally Blonde.”
Whether you like it or not, you know that you like “Legally Blonde” and watch it every time it plays on TBS, which is basically every other Saturday. You can’t fight this. It is a delightful movie. He also probably did himself a disservice by signing on for “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde,” which somehow hurt his career and not Reese Witherspoon’s.
Luke evened out his indie street cred by starring in Anderson’s next film — and probably his best known — “The Royal Tenenbaums,” which came out the same year. In it, he plays the sexiest former-tennis-pro-who-turns-suicidal-because-he-can’t-marry-his-adopted-sister of all time.
That year, Luke was also at the peak of his dating game because he was dating costar/ adopted sister Gwyneth Paltrow. So 2001 was a great year for Luke!
For some reason, after casting his buddy Luke in his first three flicks, Anderson stopped casting him in his movies in favor of his brother Owen (we’ll get to Owen later). Ouch.
So 2003 was arguably when Luke made his last great movie, “Old School,” which is probably the best of the Will Ferrell/ Vince Vaughn buddy comedies, until Owen came along and buddied up with Vince for 2004’s “Wedding Crashers.” Couldn’t he just let Luke have his moment of raunchy glory?
This is when things started to go downhill for Luke, career-wise (and also waistline-wise).
Sure, he starred in the delightfully heartbreaking “The Family Stone” and had a part in the decent Western “3:10 to Yuma,” but he also had a part in “Blades Of Glory” as a “sex class counselor” and starred in the straight-to-DVD “Blonde Ambition” opposite JESSICA FREAKING SIMPSON. I mean. COME ON, LUKE.
In 2010, Luke was only one of two white dudes in the Chris Rock vehicle “Death At a Funeral,” which is a movie about a funeral home delivering the wrong corpse, and also the family finds out that their dad was having an affair with a male dwarf. Ha ha.
However, from 2011 to 2013, Luke was on the criminally underrated HBO series “Enlightened,” which got canceled after two seasons — a fact we will not blame on Luke here.
Still, a quick Google News search for “luke wilson” finds absolutely zero results for him until the sixth page, when he is mentioned briefly in a story about Barrymore. That’s gotta hurt.
He has a few projects in the pipeline for the next year, including a short film written and directed with his older brother Andrew, and a promising-sounding surfer film along with Helen Hunt. He is also in an upcoming movie about the Cuban Missile Crisis starring Jessica Alba and Ashley Tisdale, which we will just ignore right now.
His brother Owen may have been on the Oscar shortlist for “Midnight In Paris,” dated Kate Hudson and still gets parts in (almost) every Anderson movie, but don’t cry too hard for Luke.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Luke is worth $30 million, partly due to his previous stint as a spokesman for AT&T..
Luke may soon voice a character in the upcoming animated movie “Tibetan Rock Dog,” but it seems like he is doing okay.